When your tooth is severely damaged or infected, root canal treatment is often the best way to repair and save it. The procedure involves removing damaged pulp from the inside of your tooth and filling it with special material made for this purpose. It is then sealed and usually a crown is placed on top to complete the process. Root canal therapy gets rid of the existing problem and protects your tooth from further problems. Even though it may sound daunting and can require more than one trip to the dentist, it is sometimes the only option for saving your tooth.

Beneath the white enamel that you see outside your tooth lies a hard layer of dentin and soft tissue called pulp. The root of your tooth grows from the pulp and it contains nerves, tissue, and blood vessels. When the pulp becomes damaged, it is vital to repair it for the health of your tooth. Also, root canal treatment eliminates any pain that you may be experiencing related to the affected pulp and nerves. Damaged pulp that is allowed to worsen can lead to severe pain and eventual tooth loss.

If you experience pain in a tooth or even if you are just in for your regular dental checkup, your dentist will be able to tell if a tooth has a problem serious enough to require root canal treatment. Sometimes a simple filling is all that is needed, but in other cases the best choice is root canal therapy.

You might wonder if you’d rather just have the problem tooth extracted, but in nearly all cases it is advised to keep your natural tooth. Losing a tooth will require tooth replacement such as a crown or dental implant, because without replacement your remaining teeth can shift and alter your bite or appearance. Having root canal treatment allows you to salvage your real tooth and allow it to be restored to its full function and appearance. With proper oral hygiene, after root canal treatment your tooth should last as long as your natural teeth. You can expect a comfortable and healthy smile for years to come.